Office of Metropolitan Impact

OMI promotes the University's Mission by forging mutually beneficial partnerships.

We advance the Metropolitan Vision of the University of Michigan-Dearborn by investing in faculty resources, providing seed grants, serving as a leader in engaged learning, and focusing campus impact locally.

Seed Grants

Our review panel is now evaluating the seed grant applications received.  This year's seed grant awardees will be announced in the coming weeks!


Catch up on OMI programs in the news!

  • Markyshia Smith, PAMD Director of Recruitment and Outreach, was recently selected by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) as one of a cohort of only twenty-four individuals nationwide -- “Building Beloved Community Leadership Fellows” -- who have been identified as emerging leaders in the black male achievement movement.  She will participate in a year-long learning community that will “help ensure individual effectiveness and impact in organizational leadership within the broader field of Black male achievement.” Congratulations, Markyshia!
  • CEHHS Dean Dr. Janine Janosky, Center for Disparity Solutions and Equity Program Manager Dr. Jennifer Teller, and Public Ally Darrin Winston Jr. published an op-ed in February on the need for better pedestrian safety in metro Detroit, particularly as doctors are encouraging people to walk more to combat obesity and obesity-related conditions.
  • The Honorable Don Shelton, director of the Alternatives to Violent Force program, was featured in Legal News for his commitment to training police forces.

The Office of Metropolitan Impact and Public Allies Metro Detroit are so proud of all the Public Allies currently serving.  Congratulations, DeJuan!

Learn More!

OMI supports and increases the local impact of the UM-Dearborn campus in the Metro Detroit area by investing in collaborative projects and initiatives between community and university.

Our work lifts up faculty, supports student success and increases the positive impact of community and university relationships.  Just a few of our many projects are listed below.

  • Justice Reform and Practices: focusing on repairing harm done to victims and their communities while also addressing recidivism rates.

    • Alternatives to Violent Force Program: supports continuing education for the public safety and law enforcement community, while also providing opportunity to strengthen relationships with community members.

      Associate Professor Julie Roddy, program director for the Alternatives to Violent Force Program, writes:

      The Justice Reform Project housed within the Office of Metropolitan impact at the University of Michigan – Dearborn has implemented a state of the art police education program titled Alternatives to Violent Force (AVF).  The AVF is a pilot education program for law enforcement personnel regarding the use of force, threat de-escalation, racial diversity, and profiling. The substance of the training draws heavily from the recent research by the Police Executive Research Forum suggesting “Re-engineering Use of Force” and new “Use of Force Guiding Principles”. The program focuses on local police officers and is conducted in the professional education model outside regular University course offerings.

  • Metro Detroit Nature Network: connects all of Metro Detroit’s urban areas to nature and young people to related career paths.

    Stemming from a workshop hosted by UM-Dearborn's Environmental Interpretive Center in May 2015, the Metro Detroit Nature Network is a collaboration of nonprofits, businesses, government organizations, and universities. The Network seeks to bring people in closer contact with nature, seeking to nurture the next generation of conservationists. The Network is currently focusing on seeing Detroit recognized through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Urban Bird Treaty program, citizen science, and creating a career pipeline for local youth.

    The Metro Detroit Nature Network's Executive Committee is seeking to grow general Network membership.  Currently, the Network has over 20 signatories with more signing on each week. 

  • Opportunity Youth Programming: provides underrepresented youth with resources to be successful in higher education and family-sustaining careers.

    OMI is partnering with the Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) and Osborn High School on Detroit’s east side to support and promote positive youth development, attainment of a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED), and to encourage post-secondary education pursuit and career readiness.  This three year award is funded via a U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to NSO by the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and led by OMI's Opportunity Coordinator, Brendan Gallagher, and a My Brother's Keeper AmeriCorps VISTA, Gerard Roberson.

    On a related front, OMI has a full-time My Brother’s Keeper AmeriCorps VISTA member, Adham Ghannam, helping to recruit young men of color from the Dearborn community, as well as southwest Detroit, to similar programming associated with the recently established city-wide Detroit at Work Youth Career Center housed at SER Metro.  The Youth Career Center is funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and is overseen by the DESC Opportunity Youth Collaborative, which Tracy Hall co-chairs.

  • Public Allies Metro Detroit: focuses on increasing the quality of educational opportunities, increasing economic empowerment and lifting up the voices of young leaders in Metro Detroit as they serve in nonprofits as apprentices for 5 month and 10 month assignments.